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estruction of the Central railroad and James river canal. I decided upon the latter course, and General Custer's division (Third), composed of Colonels Wells', Pennington's, and Capehart's brigades, was directed to take up the pursuit, followed closely by General Devin's division, composed of General Gibbs' and Colonels Fitzhugh'now clear and the feint successful. General Devin was quickly ordered to the north side of the South Anna and General Custer was ordered to follow, sending Colonel Pennington's brigade to amuse the enemy, cover his front, and gradually fall back. The whole command was, meanwhile, ordered to cross the North Anna and go into camp To General Merritt, Chief of Cavalry, Generals Custer and T. C. Devin, division commanders, Generals Gibbs and Wells and Colonels Fitzhugh, Capehart, Stagg, and Pennington, brigade commanders, my staff, and every officer and man of the First and Third cavalry divisions I return my sincere thanks for patriotic, unmurmuring, and sol
l-contested battle the most obstinate gallantry was displayed by my entire command. The brigades commanded by General Gibbs and Colonels Stagg and Fitzhugh, in the First division, Generals Davies, Gregg, and Smith, in the Second division, Colonels Pennington and Capehart, in the Third division, vied with each other in their determined efforts to hold in check the superior force of the enemy; and the skilful management of their troops in this peculiarly difficult country entitles the brigade cois stopped the march toward the left of our infantry, and finally caused them to turn toward Dinwiddie, and attack us in heavy force. The enemy then again attacked at Chamberlain's creek and forced Smith's position. At this time Capeheart and Pennington's brigades of Custer's division came up and a very handsome fight occurred. The enemy have gained some ground, but we still hold in front of Dinwiddie, and Davies and Devin are coming down the Boydton road to join us. The opposing force w
Third division (Brigadier-General Custer) captured six pieces of artillery (all they had on the back road), all of their headquarter wagons, ordnance, ambulance, and wagon trains. There could have hardly been a more complete victory and rout. The cavalry totally covered themselves with glory, and added to their long list of victories the most brilliant one of them all, and the most decisive the country has ever witnessed. Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer, and Colonels Lowell and Pennington, commanding brigades, particularly distinguished themselves; in fact no men could have rendered more valuable services and deserve higher honors from the hands of the Government. My losses in this engagement will not exceed sixty killed and wounded, which is astonishing when compared with the results. The First division (Brigadier-General Merritt) returned as far as Woodstock, and camped for the night. The Third division (Brigadier-General Custer) returned about six miles and camp